Max Verstappen gives his verdict on new Spanish GP track layout

The world champion gave the changes his seal of approval ahead of the Spanish GP.

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Max Verstappen thinks the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is now a far more enjoyable track to drive following the decision to get rid of the slow-speed chicane at the end of the lap.

For this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, the final corner will now be near enough flat out, increasing the likelihood of improved racing and more overtakes.

Whether that will apply to the Dutchman, who set the pace in the first two practice sessions, remains to be seen, but he was still eager to find out how his RB19 behaved in the dirty air of another car.

“It’s been a lot more fun to drive,” Verstappen said. “F1 cars in general feel better in high speed, so for me the last two corners are much better to drive.

“I tried to follow a few cars as well and it seemed actually quite OK through there as well, so positively surprised for the overtaking.”

Max Verstappen on track during the 2023 Spanish GP weekend / (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen vs Alonso duel?

Although Verstappen topped FP2, his gap at the top was down to less than two tenths from Fernando Alonso, while the pair were closely matched on their long runs.

The Dutchman admitted he was happy with the set-up of his car, meaning we could be set for a Spanish duel come Sunday in Barcelona.

“Overall we had a very good day, the car was in a good window, and of course you try to fine-tune a few things here and there, but short run and long run everything looked quite good,” Verstappen added.

“From my side I felt very comfortable in the car looking after the tyres. I mean I still need to look at the lap times of others but from our side it was a good day.”

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